God wants us to know His ways. I am moved to think that God cares so much about me that He wants me to know His ways.
I was flying from New York to Miami about twelve years ago when I came across a verse in my daily Bible reading. I had read this verse hundreds of times before, but for some reason it shook me rigid that day. It was when Moses was given carte blanche from God to ask whatever He wanted. Moses replied: “If I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way” (Ex. 33:13, emphasis added). I was convicted like I had not been convicted in years. I had to ask myself, what if God gave me carte blanche? What would I have asked for? I knew exactly what I had been asking for—and it wasn’t what Moses wanted.
This is what shamed me. It showed me that Moses’ devotion to God was so much greater and higher and deeper than mine. It showed me why Moses was the greatest of men in human history. All he wanted was to know God’s ways. He could have asked for more power and authority. He could have asked for vengeance upon his stubborn following. He could have asked for any number of things—here was his chance! He wanted one thing: to know God’s ways.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” said the prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:6). They lacked knowledge of two things: God’s Word and His ways.
If we truly want to know God’s will, the best thing we can do to achieve this is to get to know Scripture backward and forward. It is the blessing of the Holy Spirit we want and need. He wrote Scripture—His greatest product. The best way to get to know the Bible is to get on good terms with its Author. Devour everything He wrote!
How do we get to know God’s ways? How do you get to know anybody’s ways? It is by spending time with them. That is the only way to know somebody. You will never get to know anyone truly unless you spend time with them.
God wants you to know His Word and His ways. Both of these: His Word—Holy Scripture—and His ways come by spending time in His presence.
What are God’s particular ways? First, He does not want you to have any anger in your heart. How then does one get rid of anger in the heart? I reply: by total forgiveness. This is the only way it can be done. Jesus said that we should love our enemies and pray that God will bless those who persecute us.
This brings me to my second point about God’s ways: God wants you to close the time gap between sin and repentance. The sooner you admit you got it wrong, the better. Why? So that there will be no discontinuity of anointing.
Here’s my third point about God’s ways: walk in the light that God gives you. If you don’t walk in it, but go outside of it, you will be in darkness where there is no fellowship with the Father. Walk in the light. Get rid of bitterness. Forgive.
But sometimes there is more. God may confront you with a responsibility that you know you must accept if you are going to move forward with the Lord. Confess any sin. Obey any impulse that you honestly believe could only have come from the Holy Spirit. This is a vital part of getting to know God’s ways.
Fourth, replace grumbling with gratitude. God loves gratitude (See Philippians 4:6). He wants us to develop into being a thankful people; it is one of His ways. There’s another reason to be grateful as research shows that being thankful has positive effects on your health and well-being.
Fifth, never run ahead of God. One of the easiest things in the world to do is to run ahead of God. Once you realize you have run ahead of the Lord and have left Him behind, immediately start looking for Him. Don’t keep going ahead.
I want to share an acrostic for L-O-V-E that I have come up with for my personal use. I literally pray every single day that I will not grieve the Holy Spirit. I try to apply this acrostic all day long—whether with the general public or at home. This works for me, although I so often fall short.
L – Let be. Accept without complaining what God allows. Let God work for you.
O – Overlook. Don’t try to get even. Overlook rude, thoughtless behavior.
V – Vulnerable. Let the mind of Christ govern you. Be willing to become a Nobody.
E – Emancipate. Extend graciousness and help others “save face” when they’re wrong.
I can safely promise that you will avoid grieving the Spirit if you live by these principles. It will also help you to keep from running ahead of God.
Prayer Power for the Week of May 8, 2016
This week ask the Lord to help you live out the acrostic for L-O-V-E and teach you His way each day. Remember to forgive those who have hurt you, bless them and pray for their well-being as the Lord desires. Continue to lift up Israel and our other allies as you pray for our military and their families. Ask the Lord to help our leaders make wise decisions, and continue to pray for revival in our nation and around the world. (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 6:14; Col. 3:13; John 13:34-35).